Green has recently popped up everywhere. The recent summer has seen homeowners focus on outside seating and eating; conservatories, garden rooms and bringing the outdoor indoors. New collections from various fabric houses seem, with this in mind, to be championing this green trend and there is therefore an absolute mass of fabrics, wallpapers and design ideas to look at. To save you hours of trawling through pattern books or aimlessly wandering around Chelsea Harbour, I have put together an assortment of green-eyed inducing ideas, fit for every home and every budget.
The problem with green is that we’re nervous of it and British homeowners have long played it safe with blues, creams and quiet patterns of pink flowers. Everyone thinks of something different when it comes to the colour green but really it encompasses teal, mint, leaf, emerald, moss, lime and turquoise to name a few. The right shade of green can actually bring a real breath of fresh air into a room. It can be brightening and calming; wild and subtle; traditional and contemporary.
With our love of quiet pink flower patterns in mind, my first choice is a small step into the world of green fabric. From the new Colefax & Fowler Classic Prints II book of their bestsellers, Fuchsia Chintz has been firmly placed in the ‘pink and flowery’ category. Search the colour green in Colefax’s design search and this fabric doesn’t appear; search for pink or purple and it’s one of the first returns. But this fabric has a stunning leaf design, the greens of which bring it alive. This is a perfect choice for someone looking to stick with the classic English look but who wants more of a contrast of colours. The green in this fabric is bright and rich, providing a colourful coupling with the vibrant fuchsias and a calming contrast against the neutral background. This fabric is perhaps best used for French-headed curtains in a Drawing Room or Bedroom; somewhere where they will stand out. The pattern is such that this fabric looks just as pretty when pleated and despite the colours, it looks best when there’s lots of it. Pair with cream and dark pink/red so that the green really pops and you’ve immediately given a traditional fabric a whole new lease of life.
Green also works wonderfully well on a smaller scale and a great way to use the colour is on upholstered chairs. This Soane fabric is one of my favourites because of the juxtaposition between the antique pattern and the contemporary feel of the green. One of the reasons this fabric is so versatile is the Stone background, as opposed to the more common Ivory, which is often harder to place, and of course shows dirt more easily. This fabric would make the most wonderful armchairs; think of slim-backed or armless with a close nailing finish. Such chairs would make for more unusual Dining Room chairs but would work just as well in Kitchens or in Bedrooms as furniture that is decorative and functional. The boldness of the pattern combined with the bold colour will make any use of this fabric eye-catching; use with natural materials like wood and stone, as the green will soften any colder parts of the house.
If you’re struggling to find a green fabric that works for you then turning your attention to paint might be the way forward. House & Garden recently featured a rustic Dutch farmhouse, the walls of which were painted with Deep Celadon Green by Papers & Paints. Impossible to tell on a computer screen but this colour is light and earthy, ideal next to natural light and also works with a surprising amount of other colours. Green is great in Hallways and on doorframes as it is welcoming and light but getting the right shade is key. The crossover between green and blue provides a whole new palette of colours, many of which look wonderful painted onto wooden furniture. A lick of paint can do wonders for furniture or joinery and the main rooms in the house would benefit from the tranquillity of certain shades of green. My chosen greens from Farrow & Ball all have blue tones in them, providing that key bit of warmth. Give simple wooden chairs a lick of Arsenic No. 214; Kitchen cupboards would look wonderful painted with a paler shade like Teresa’s Green No. 236 and Green Smoke No. 47 is ideal for dressers or bigger tables.
Green may not be everyone’s cup of tea but there are so many shades to discover, that it would be impossible not to find somewhere where it would work perfectly in your home. Be it with fabric, furniture or paint, start small and you’ll soon see what a breath of fresh air the right shade of green can bring to your interiors.